Denise Welch has been crowned champion of Celebrity Big Brother 2012, during the final which took place on Friday night.

The former Coronation Street star turned Loose Women presenter fought off competition from runner-up Frankie Cocozza, after scoring the highest number of votes from viewers in the week leading up to the final.

Earlier in the evening rugby star Gareth Thomas finished in third place, actor Michael Madsen was fourth while twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon came fifth.

Denise – who had had a fiery relationship with Michael Madsen in the house and was at the centre of an explosive row with the twins earlier this week – looked genuinely shocked when Brian Dowling announced she was the winner.

She shouted “No!” in disbelief before hugging Frankie as news of her victory sunk in.

Afterwards she left the house to a largely positive reception from the crowd – and treated them to a flash of her bra, imitating one of her infamous stunts in the house during the series.

She later told presenter Brian Dowling that she was “lost for words” over her victory.

“Because I was the last one in, I thought that it was a joke and I’d been forgotten about,” she said.

And she was quick to comment on some of the more controversial incidents in the house, including her turbulent relationship with Michael Madsen.

“Till the day I die I will not understand that man,” she said. “Some of the best laughs I had in the house were with Michael.

“I tried to get to know him but it didn’t work. But not everybody’s going to like me, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

She also apologised for the incident in which she pulled Karissa Shannon’s pyjama bottoms down, leading to an explosive row with glamour model Nicola McLean.

“I meant what I said to Nicola, but I regretted the way I said it,” she admitted. “Because I bottled everything up, it came out after a few sherries.”

Meanwhile runner-up Frankie Cocozza appeared emotional as he left the house to cheers from the crowd.

But the teenager was quick to show off his cheeky streak, saying that he still fancied his chances with Kristina and Karissa. “The girls love me,” he joked, “they really do.”

And Frankie – who had won the support of former X Factor mentor Gary Barlow earlier in the day – added that he had surprised himself by doing so well.

“I was expecting to go in and leave after four days,” he admitted. “It went better than I thought.”